Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Been a Bad Week and I Need a Vacation - So I'm Going to God's Country in South Georgia

There's nothing like the small, tedious trials, personal setbacks, screw ups and generally stupid things we do that make us wish for that special place. I am setting this up as a good excuse, lame though it may be, for not posting about something relevant to the Nomad's quest for nirvana. Sorry, it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.

Among other things, I spilled an entire glass of very good cab (2008 Lodi 337 - Cheap but excellent) in the bedroom all over my wife's novel she is currently reading, the nightstand, the floor, the wall, the door and a ceramic planter . I spilled an entire carafe of French Press Coffee all over the kitchen counter and floor, and I spilled a cup of cream and sugar that I had already put in my wife's tea cup - very strange indeed. I know it all sounds completely stupid, but those little things - that last glass of great wine, the perfect cup of coffee in the morning, putting your condiments in the right cup and, in general, "being good to yourself" make life civil and complete. Boy, do I sound like a wimp. Oh yes, did I mention that I burned the brownies, for our visit to Georgia, that my wife reluctantly left me in charge of while she picked up some home made cakes for the weekend? I even used a timer and I still burned them! So when she returned and had to toss about half the batch because they had the consistency of asphalt - I proclaimed - "OK, you can say it - I am an incompetent idiot". And do you know what she said? She said mockingly - "OK, you are an incompetent idiot". She is Woman - Hear Her Roar!!!

All of this brings me to a point that is critical to our sense of well being and mental health. Vacations. Specifically, family vacations. I was born and raised in the the very southern North Florida town of Tallahassee, Florida. We call it God's country. Rolling hills, beautiful lakes and rivers, salt of the earth people and the most massive, beautiful oak trees on earth. Well, to commemorate the birth of the greatest country on earth, we are heading up to another official section of God's country - the shores of Lake Blackshear in Warwick, Georgia. The joy of cross generational reunions always makes me realize that I am never far from somebody who loves me, even if they think I am a little strange. And I absolutely know that I am going to spend the majority of my time eating and laughing. With the occasional miss, we have been going to this great place every Fourth of July since McEnroe beat Borg at Wimbledon . The main house sits on a beautiful tree studded peninsula overlooking the lake. With its classic modern lines, its real brick floors and elegant glass lined spaces, it's a great place to enjoy people who really matter to you. And as an architect, I can say without hesitation  - They just don't build houses like that anymore.

In this beautiful place, any Nomad would be happy just to sit, enjoy the company and take in the view. But, the main event is - THE FOOD!! The great southern author and poet, James Dickey said that the deep south was the only region of the United States that had it's own cookery. Real southern cooking cannot be taught in a class. It can only be learned by trial and error in a kitchen run mostly by women who don't measure anything and create some of the most incredible food you will ever eat. And this family has some of the best cooks to ever wear an apron. Although, I must give a shout out to one of the best cooks I know - my brother-in-law Danny. What that man can do with a smoker, some wood and a turkey or pork roast is otherworldly!!! Great southern cooking is a unique blend of unknown science, art and magic. Fresh, home grown tomatoes, corn on the cob, squash casserole, collards, butter beans, smoked ham, pan fried chicken, local barbeque, corn/cracklin' bread, desserts to die for and sweet ice tea that you can only get in the south. Well, you get the point - Gettin' hungry aren't you?

Finally, I must mention the  coo de grace of my week of tedious and stupid things. Hopefully, this will tip the scales for sympathy and convince you that I - We - need some time away. This morning, the chain came off my brand new bicycle and bent the gear shifter beyond repair rendering it impossible to ride. I bought the thing to get rid of the calories that I intend to eat this weekend. So, after a tedious week of misfires and miscues I am ready to hit the road. And in that regard, it is my fervent hope that you and yours will gather together and remember that we are members of a unique community. As families and Americans, we celebrate the most creative force for humanity ever - inspired by God and created by men and women of vision - These United States - Happy Independence Day!!!

Travel Quote of The Week -" Nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people" - Mark Twain

See Y'all Next Week


Video Artist of The Week - One of the greatest of the southern rockers - He plays the piano like a man possessed - THE KILLER - Jerry Lee Lewis!!!

1 comment:

  1. This was a perfect bedtime read from a great lake in Minnesota. You made Todd & I laugh. Everyone does need to get away from time to time. We will spend 13 days here in the twin cities. Such a progressive city for the Midwest. Happy 4th of July my friend!